Newspapers Endure Another Bad Quarter, Total Revs Fall

No one expected a turnaround for newspapers in the third quarter — and that is exactly what didn’t happen, judging by weak earnings results for some of the country’s biggest publishers.

Although there were some bright spots, for example in growing digital advertising revenues, these were typically more than offset by the continuing decline in print ads.

This week, The New York Times Co. announced that total revenues fell 1% from $367.4 million to $363.5 million, due to a 7.7% drop in advertising revenues to $124.9 million, which canceled out a 3% increase in circulation revenues, to $217.1 million.  Print ad revenues tumbled 18.5% to $80.5 million, while digital ads grew 21.4% to $44.4 million.

The increase in NYTCO’s circ revenues was due, once again, to its growing digital subscription business, with 1,557,000 total digital-only subscribers at the end of the third quarter, up 129,000 from the end of the second quarter.

It’s worth noting that circ revenues now make up 59.7% of NYTCO’s total, up from 41.3% in the third quarter of 2010. The proportion derived from advertising has fallen from 51.8% to 34.3% over the same period.



Gannett Co. reported that total revenues fell 8.6% when the recent acquisition of several companies, including the Journal Media Group and North Jersey Media Group, is excluded. Total ad revenues were down 11.7%, as print ad revenues fell 14.8%, including a 35.1% drop in national print ads and a 19.1% drop in preprints.

Over the same period, Gannett’s digital ad revenues rose 4.4%, and circ revenues fell 6.4%, despite a 45% increase in digital-only subs.

Tronc, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, reported an advertising revenue loss of 10.9% compared to the same period last year. The company’s total revenues were down 6.8% to $378 million, compared to $406 million in the third quarter of 2015. Total revenues for troncM, which is made up of Tronc’s media groups, excluding their digital revenues and expenses, were $323 million or a decrease of 7.6% compared to the third quarter of 2015. 

Total revenues for troncX, which includes all the digital revenues and related expenses of the company, were $57 million or a decrease of 2.3% from last year. Earlier this week, Gannett called off a planned acquisition of Tronc after key lenders backed out.

McClatchy Co., publisher of The Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee, among other newspapers, saw total revenues fall 6.6% to $234.7 million, as total ad revenues slid 11.1% from $149.9 million to $133.2 million, offsetting a 1.9% in crease in “audience” revenues (including circulation) from $89.3 million to $91 million. Print ads tumbled 16.9% from $51.9 million to $42.6 million, while total digital ads grew 12.1% from $19.6 million to $22 million. 

A.H. Belo, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, announced that total revenues fell 3.2% to $64.8 million, due in part to a 2.2% decline in ad and marketing revenue, to $38.3 million. Total digital ad and marketing revenues jumped 18.7% to $14 million, but these gains were more than offset by declines in print ads.

2 comments about "Newspapers Endure Another Bad Quarter, Total Revs Fall".
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  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, November 3, 2016 at 5:33 p.m.

    I am beginning to believe that The Internet is a communist plot to get rid of America's newspapers no Democracy...In fact The Internet is beginning to destroy our economy as well...putting traditional employers out of busisness, relacing hotels with sharing apartments (just like during the Great Depression), replacing taxi company employees with amaturer freelancers. Replacing journalists with Press release writers, after 20 years as a content publisher I am soory to see what was supposed to become an economic and informational positve has been turned against what had been good and resonable...WTF  

  2. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, November 3, 2016 at 5:38 p.m.

    Oh Yeah I almost sharing instead of owning...sounds pretty communist like to me...  

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